Globally, education at the high end - law/medical/business programs - is a high-growth business. It always was. Both for those who are content to be employees and for the entrepreneurial there had been and are earning opportunities. The oldest service was providing SAT coaching services. In 1962, just about everyone in the college-preparatory program at Snyder High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, although not affluent in any way, paid for one or more courses.
Now, with an economy that has shifted from affluent to scarce and which is so volatile no one can figure it out, there is a flight to the supposed safety of education. Whether that assumption of a safe bet is valid is irrelevant. All that counts is that serving this market can be a gold mine.
Professionals most suited to be full-time employees, contract workers, or business owners are those, such as lawyers, who have shown they are good at going to school and expert at understanding the whole academic game of selecting a program, applying successfully to it, performing well once in it, and selling that degree on the actual job market. Yet, jobless lawyers aren't adequately identifying, exploring, and pouncing on these earnings possibilities.
At the low end there is coaching LSAT. Craigslist in New Haven, Connecticut, for example, advertises part-time positions for $100 an hour. Applicants have to provide proof of having themselves aced the test. Most lawyers excel at standardized tests. This is a natural.
More interesting and lucrative are services which guide applicants and their parents [who are always in the loop for all decisions involving Generation Y] in whether to invest in a professional degree, how to wade through all the choices, and then how to proceed with the actual process of submitting the personal statement, going for an interview, and then choosing among several offers.
Then, there's the whole media built around going to school. The latest entry is POETS & QUANTS which, explains E.B. Boyd of WEBNEWSER on Mediabistro, is to be the "go-to place for serious applicants to the best MBA programs in the world." The founder is an experienced player in publications. He is John Byrne who had been editor at BUSINESS WEEK and FAST COMPANY. This trail has been blazed by wildly popular digital sites like Abovethelaw.
The ability to do well in school as well as have down cold how the game works is marketable. Unemployed lawyers who neglect packaging their backgrounds to sell into this niche are wasting their investment in participating in the educational system.